April 2020: New History of Jesuits’ Changing Views of Judaism

James Bernauer, S.J., has published a new history of the development in Jesuits’ attitudes towards Judaism in the mid 20th century. Jesuit Kaddish: Jesuits, Jews, and Holocaust Remembrance, published by University of Notre Dame Press, examines how Jesuit hostility toward Judaism before the Holocaust gave way to a “new understanding of the Catholic Church’s relation to Judaism that culminated with Vatican II’s landmark decree Nostra aetate.”


Bernauer, a Jesuit priest and the Kraft Family Professor of Philosophy and the director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College, demonstrates how Jesuit hostility operated before identifying “an influential group of Jesuits whose thought and action contributed to the developments in Catholic teaching about Judaism.” Jesuit Cardinal Augustin Bea was instrumental in leading the post-war change. Jesuit Kaddish also contains an appendix presenting the fifteen Jesuits who have been honored as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Center.


More information about the book can be found at the publisher’s website: https://undpress.nd.edu/9780268107017/jesuit-kaddish/.


A citation for the book appears on the Jesuit Online Bibliography: https://jesuitonlinebibliography.bc.edu/catalog/18156.

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